President Edgar Lungu needs to show solidarity to the Kenyan election process by attending Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration, says Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba.
And Kalaba says President Lungu will tomorrow also attend Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Kalaba has insisted that all of President Lungu’s trips are unique and important in their own right.
At a media briefing in Lusaka today, Kalaba announced that the Head of State would make round trips to both countries for the ceremonies.
“His Excellency the President is tomorrow 24th November, 2017 scheduled to attend the swearing in ceremony of his Excellency Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe following the resignation of president Robert Mugabe. With regards to Kenya, following the repeat presidential elections on 26th October, 2017, the Kenyan Supreme Court in its ruling on 1st November, 2017 upheld and confirmed the re-election of His Excellency Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as President and commander in chief of the defense forces of the Republic of Kenya. His Excellency the President is therefore scheduled to attend the swearing in ceremony of his Excellency President Kenyatta which will be held on 28th November, 2017,” Kalaba said.
“He is going to Kenya and he will be going to Zimbabwe. He will be going in, the same day and come out the same day. These are nearby countries. These are countries that we have enjoyed solidarity with. The function such as the one happening in Kenya where elections have lasted for about six months, we need to go and show solidarity to the process. Relations of countries are forged between countries. Zambia and Zimbabwe have had good relations and it is in the spirit of relations that Zambia has had with Zimbabwe that President Lungu is going for the inauguration ceremony of his brother Emmerson Mnangagwa.”
He said both ceremonies would consolidate Zambia’s relations with the two countries.
“The participation of his Excellency the President in these ceremonies is significant as such occasions are aimed at further consolidating the existing relations between Zambia and the two countries, with a goal of enhancing strategic partnerships that will consolidate economic corporation for sustainable development. The occasion will further provide an opportunity for the Head of State to deliberate on matters of bilateral and regional importance. Attendance of inauguration ceremonies, particularly of neighboring countries by the Head of state not only shows solidarity to his counterparts but also promotes the spirit of unity, understanding and oneness,” he said.
And Kalaba insisted that President Lungu’s trips were all relevant.
“The visits that President Lungu has been undertaking have been very strategic visits. And visits need to be looked at in their uniqueness. Don’t just call them ‘he is travelling international trips’. Here at foreign affairs, one of the duties that we play is to ensure that every trip the President makes is one that is going to add value to well being of this country. There is no aimless trip that the President will undertake. I don’t want to compare with other countries but I can tell you that the trips that the President has been undertaking are trips that are vital,” said Kalaba.
“There are trips that I, as foreign minister that I have undertaken without the President. That doesn’t need to be there. I think that the interesting question that we need to talk about is that ‘how many trips has he not undertaken?’ because we always look at how many he has undertaken and not those he has refused to undertake which are quite several. These are measured trips and as foreign affairs we will continue advising the President to take measured international trips.”